• Gas Savings In Wyoming: Sharpen Your Pencil

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    High gas prices in Wyoming increase the cost of living for Michigan auto owners. You’ve probably budgeted a certain amount for vehicle related expenses. Increased fuel costs now consume a larger portion of our incomes, causing some Wyoming vehicle owners to skimp in other areas – like scheduled maintenance.

    According to Michigan news reports and automotive industry studies, this is becoming increasingly more common. In fact, nine out of ten personal vehicles on the road have at least one maintenance or repair item that hasn’t been done. Some of these items pose serious safety risks. Others are just more likely to make it more expensive to drive.

    Gas Savings In Wyoming: Sharpen Your PencilIn this area, we can take a lesson from professional Wyoming vehicle owners. I’m talking about fleet owners and operators. You know, Wyoming folks like the trucking companies and delivery services. Because their livelihood depends on it, they have gotten scheduled maintenance down to a science. And the last thing they skimp on is regular maintenance.

    Why is that? Well, for one thing they know that routine maintenance prevents expensive repairs and costly breakdowns. They also know that a well-maintained vehicle uses less fuel. For them, even a small decrease in fuel economy may put their Wyoming business in the red.

    So what does this mean to Wyoming drivers? Well, there’s a ninety percent chance that you’re missing some service that would improve your fuel economy. Here’s a quick reminder list:

    Fuel system cleaning, transmission service, differential service, engine air filter, wheel alignment, oil change, tune up.
    Ring any bells? Can most Wyoming motorists honestly say that there isn’t at least one thing on the list that hasn’t been done?

    Let’s suppose you chose to spend one hundred and fifty dollars and get caught up on some of these services at Bob & Dave’s Garage. Figure that they combine to improve your gas mileage by fifteen percent. What would that mean to your pocketbook?

    Well, the average personal vehicle in Wyoming is driven about twelve thousand miles a year. If you get twenty miles per gallon in your vehicle, over the course of one year you would pay for the hundred and fifty dollars worth of service and save an additional hundred and sixty five dollars if gas is at three dollars and fifty cents. If gas is four fifty, you would save two hundred and fifty-five dollars. And you’d rack up savings of three hundred and forty five dollars with gas at five and a half bucks.

    GAS PRICE
    $3.50
    $4.50
    $5.50
    20 MPG
    $165
    $255
    $345

    From this you can see that the more fuel costs, the more it pays to keep up on scheduled maintenance. Some of us drive trucks in Wyoming for work or recreation – or want a large SUV for family needs. A fifteen percent improvement in gas mileage can generate huge savings – six hundred and sixty dollars a year if gas is four fifty a gallon in Wyoming. Take a look at this table to see where your savings could lie.

    GAS PRICE $3.50 $4.50 $5.50
    10 MPG $480 $660 $840
    20 MPG $165 $255 $345
    30 MPG $60 $120 $180

     

    So catch up on those services you’ve been neglecting at Bob & Dave’s Garage. Get a couple done now and a couple next time. Chances are you’ll save a lot of money at Wyoming gas pumps this year – and a lot more on repairs in years to come.

     

     

  • Keep Your Wyoming Car Breathing Free: Engine Air Filter

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    Hey Wyoming drivers – this is something really amazing: For every gallon of gas your vehicle burns, it uses 12,000 gallons of air. All of that air has to be filtered to keep your engine clean.

    That’s like a hundred gallons of air every block! The engine air filter is just another example of a very key but inexpensive part that has to do a tremendous amount of work. And when it works, everything goes well. But, when it doesn’t, well, it can lead to costly problems. Of course, your auto manufacturer recommends how often to change your air filter. But like most service intervals, where and how you drive your car in Michigan affects when your filter needs to be changed.

    Dusty conditions around Wyoming or polluted city driving means you’ll need to change your filter more often. Your committed to excellence, fairness and customer service Bob & Dave’s Garage service advisor can check your filter for you. In fact, it’s often a routine part of an oil change.

    When you think about it, a clogged air filter won’t allow as much air through as a clean filter. Your vehicle needs this air to efficiently burn its fuel, giving you better fuel efficiency and performance.

    Dirtier filters don’t work as well as clean ones. A filter can only hold so much, after that, it allows dirt to pass right into your engine. Air filters come in all shapes and sizes. They also come in different grades. There are high performance air filters available for most cars. These high performance filters are a little more costly in Wyoming, but they increase horsepower and may improve fuel economy to boot.

    So it’s important for Wyoming auto owners to have their air filter checked. If it needs replacing, it doesn’t cost very much at Bob & Dave’s Garage in Wyoming and it should easily pay for itself in better gas mileage before your next oil change.

    Stop by Bob & Dave’s Garage at 2863 Byron Center Ave, Wyoming, Michigan 49519, and we’ll take a look at your air filter for you. Feel free to give us a call at 616-532-7209 to make an appointment.

    Bob & Dave’s Garage
    2863 Byron Center Ave
    Wyoming, Michigan 49519
    616-532-7209

  • Keeping Your Car Young In Wyoming

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    As Wyoming consumers, we live in a disposable society. It’s amazing all the stuff we throw away.

    New stuff comes out so fast in Michigan, and much of it is fairly cheap, so we just toss the old and move on. It seems like when we were kids in Wyoming, our parents were real sticklers about taking care of our stuff – especially parents who grew up in the Depression. You know, hang up your clothes, polish your shoes, put away your toys. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough, we had to do without. 

    Wyoming motorists couldn’t afford new cars very often, so we tried to make them last as long as we could. It’s a good thing that cars are more reliable these days. They just don’t break down as often. And the good news for us Wyoming penny pinchers is that a modern car can easily go 200,000 miles with proper care. The engineering’s there and so is the manufacturing quality. The missing ingredient is us making sure we follow the car maker’s maintenance schedules.

    Is it really that bad for Wyoming motorists to get off schedule? Well, it all adds up. Every time you go a couple thousand extra miles between oil changes, you’ve created an opportunity for dangerous sludge to form and clog passages. Then some parts don’t get oiled and they start to wear out faster. 

    Skip a cooling system service, and the corrosion inhibitors become depleted, and the radiator starts being damaged – one step closer to a failure. The same thing is true for transmission service, power brakes, fuel system cleaning – really everything on your schedule.

    It’s also even more important for older vehicles in the Wyoming area. Those engines and other systems have had more time to get dirty, so they’re working harder anyway. But it’s never too late for Wyoming drivers to get back on track with essential maintenance and to hold off further costly damage.

    It’s just another example of our parents knowing what’s best. (Surprising how often that happens.) And it really does start with the oil change, just like Dad said. When you get a full service oil change they top off all your fluids and check for other items that are on your maintenance schedule. That’s like your safety net; go in for oil changes on time, and let your service professional at Bob & Dave’s Garage in Wyoming help you keep track of the rest.

    Of course, it is inevitable for Wyoming auto owners that some things are going to wear out along the way – key stuff like alternators, water pumps and such – they don’t last forever. But that stuff is cheaper than a new car payment. And taking care of problems early means they have less time to cause other problems. It’s like having high cholesterol; you don’t want to wait for a heart attack before you address it.

    Bob & Dave’s Garage
    2863 Byron Center Ave
    Wyoming, Michigan 49519
    616-532-7209

  • Can Your Car Last Another Year?

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    Have you checked out the price of new vehicles at Wyoming car dealers? Ouch! Add financing and insurance and – well a new ride may not seem so attractive. A lot of Wyoming, Michigan folks are hoping to make their cars last a lot longer.

    Fortunately, with the current state of automotive engineering and manufacturing, there’s no reason a modern vehicle can’t be made to last for a 150,000 miles or more for smart Wyoming drivers.

    The old adage: ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ is really true for Wyoming auto owners when it comes to car maintenance. A great example is coolant service.

    Over time, coolant becomes corrosive and actually starts to damage your radiator and other parts. Smart Wyoming motorists have their cooling system service taken care of right on schedule.

    Ditto for your power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning system, differential and transmission. Of course, oil changes should be done right on schedule to avoid the build-up of harmful oil sludge.

    Don’t let your brake pads go too long before they are worn to the point that your rotors are at risk. Preventative auto maintenance at Bob & Dave’s Garage is a great way to keep your operating costs down in Wyoming.

    Replacing belts and hoses is much cheaper than repairing the costly damage that can be caused by failure.

    We know that this is a lot for busy Wyoming area drivers to remember. Let the team of automotive professionals at Bob & Dave’s Garage keep on top of this stuff for you. We can tell you what your vehicle manufacturer recommends and help you develop an affordable plan to take care of it.

    Bottom line – do routine maintenance on schedule and you will reduce operating costs, prevent pricey repairs and maintain your warranty coverage. Call Bob & Dave’s Garage today for an appointment; you can reach us at 616-532-7209.

    Let us take good care of your car at Bob & Dave’s Garage in Wyoming, and it’ll take good care of you.

    Bob & Dave’s Garage
    Give us a call today at 616-532-7209.
    Or stop by at 2863 Byron Center Ave, Wyoming, Michigan 49519

  • Busting Automotive Myths In Wyoming Michigan

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    Myths passed around our Wyoming Michigan community start with a grain of evidence and are then built up with a lot of imagination and very elastic logic. And the internet is a breeding ground for automotive myths. Some bloggers recall the vehicles of yesteryear and declare their modern decedents to be virtually maintenance free and that anyone who says otherwise is out to rip you off.

    To get the truth about auto myths you hear around the Wyoming area, come over to Bob & Dave’s Garage.
    You’ll find us at 2863 Byron Center Ave, Wyoming, Michigan 49519.
    Give us a call at 616-532-7209 to make an appointment for your next auto service.

    Let’s examine a couple of the more popular rants and look at the truth behind them.

    The first one is that the chassis no longer needs lubrication for suspension, steering and the driveline. They declare that anyone who has charged you for lubrication is a charlatan.

    The truth on which this myth is based is that many new cars come from the factory with sealed joints and cannot be greased. However, there are still some grease points on many cars around Wyoming. A grease fitting may have been installed in conjunction with a repair. And most trucks and truck-based SUVs driving in Wyoming still require chassis lubrication. This is because they are more heavy duty and proper greasing is still required to keep them going.

    Another common rant you’ll hear around Wyoming is that modern cars don’t need tune-ups. That depends on your definition of a ‘tune-up’, which has changed as technology has progressed. Before engine control computers, electronic ignition and fuel injection, a tune up meant replacing mechanical parts that wore out. Bob & Dave’s Garage would manually adjust fuel and air mix and timing. When these adjustments were off, spark plugs would foul and need to be replaced.

    This definition just doesn’t apply to modern vehicles. Service centers like Bob & Dave’s Garage generally consider a tune-up to be the major service visit, recommended by your manufacturer, every 30,000 miles or so.

    Of course you can’t lubricate a sealed joint. Of course you can’t adjust a carburetor if your car doesn’t have one. You probably don’t need to change spark plugs every year if your manufacturer says they can go 30,000 miles. What are these bloggers getting so worked up about?

    The danger with these modern-day myths, is that they prevent people in our local Wyoming community from taking care of the routine preventive auto maintenance that manufactures recommend. Check out this partial list of things you still need to do to take care of your car. How many of them are really any different today than they were 20 or 30 years ago?

    Oil change, cooling system service, transmission service, tire balancing, tire rotation, wheel alignment, suspension service, power steering service, proper tire inflation, brake service, differential service, battery maintenance, engine air filer, PCV valve, breather element, fuel filter, belts, hoses, timing belt, windshield wipers . . .

    You get the picture. Your vehicle is still a machine that needs to be maintained. And, hey, your service advisors at Bob & Dave’s Garage have always adapted to keep pace with automotive technology. Next time you come across an angry voice about your car care, talk to your Wyoming service advisor at Bob & Dave’s Garage, or do some research of your own.

  • Training Received by Technicians In Wyoming, Michigan

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    When your car breaks down in the Wyoming, Michigan area, or just needs some routine service, it can make Wyoming car owners a little nervous. Because your car’s so important to your life, you need to be back on the road as soon as possible. And with the problem fixed right the first time.

    We’ve been checking into some of the important training our Wyoming Michigan technicians receive, and we’re very impressed. It’s amazing how much knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern car. So it’s not like when your uncle worked on his hot rod over weekend.

    Today there are four cylinder engines around Wyoming that make more power than the V-8’s in luxury cars 20 years ago. A new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket’s Ferrari in a race to 60 mph.

    Our engines are more and more powerful and at the same time their fuel efficiency keeps inching up. And they’re so reliable. This is all due to engineering. But the benefits come to Wyoming auto owners at the price of simplicity. Modern cars are so much more complex from a mechanical standpoint that it makes your head spin.

    Then there’s the electronics. Some cars on Michigan freeways area have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle functions as well. Wyoming auto owners take all of this sophistication for granted – but somebody has to fix it when it breaks.

    It’s a real challenge for the service professionals at  Bob & Dave’s Garage and other Wyoming auto service centers to keep up. It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the auto technician and the service center as well. In addition to the training, there’s the financial commitment to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools as well.

    So where do Wyoming techs go for training? There’re many sources. It’s usually a combination of formal classroom training, training provided in the service center by auto parts and equipment manufacturers, on-line courses and home study courses. There are many independent certifications available all the way up to Master Technician.

    And AutoNetTV produces monthly training for Wyoming automotive service centers called The Pro Channel. If you were to watch the Pro Channel segment on re-flashing the engine control computer, you’d be amazed at how much is involved: special software, hardware interfaces and a tremendous amount of knowledge and skill.

    Service centers in Wyoming, Michigan have a lot of other resources available as well. No one can know everything, so service centers like Bob & Dave’s Garage subscribe to data services, technical libraries and even on-line communities that can help them with they run into a difficult problem.

    It’s like those medical diagnosis shows on TV. Here are the symptoms – what’s the diagnosis and treatment. Diagnosis is every bit as much an art as a science. Wyoming drivers want everything to be simple, straight forward and cheap – and sometimes it just isn’t.

    So, be more relaxed next time you take your vehicle in. Wyoming motorists can trust their committed to excellence, fairness and customer service Bob & Dave’s Garage techs. You’re in good hands. The more you know, the more comfortable you can be with your automotive service decisions at Bob & Dave’s Garage. Visit AutoNetTV.com to see more great auto tips videos about many service topics.

    At Bob & Dave’s Garage, we provide quality automotive service including auto repair, auto repair and auto repair.<br><br>

  • Bob & Dave’s Garage Maintenance Tips: The Belt Goes On

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    Today’s Bob & Dave’s Garage auto maintenance article focuses on your serpentine belt. Your serpentine belt is a long belt that’s driven by your engine. It winds around several accessories that power important automotive systems. Let’s go over them.

    First, the serpentine belt drives your vehicle air conditioning system. It spins the compressor that makes the cool air that takes the edge off the summer heat in Wyoming.

    Next, the belt powers the alternator. The alternator creates electricity that’s used by your vehicle’s electrical systems and also charges your car battery. Bob & Dave's Garage Maintenance Tips The Belt Goes OnAll Wyoming drivers know that without the alternator, the battery will go dead in a few miles.

    The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering and power brakes. And, on many vehicles, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within normal operating temperatures for Wyoming auto owners. (On some vehicles, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt.)

    So you can see the serpentine belt does a lot of work. And it if breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That’s why car makers and your service advisor at Bob & Dave’s Garage have recommended that it be changed every so often so that it doesn’t fail.

    Your
    Bob & Dave’s Garage service advisor can perform a visual inspection of the belt to see if it has any cracks that signal the belt could fail soon and will measure the amount of belt material to make sure there is enough.

    Your serpentine belt works in tandem with a spring loaded pulley attached to the engine called the tensioner pulley. Its job is to make sure there’s a constant tension on the serpentine belt so that it doesn’t slip. The spring can become worn and no longer provide the necessary pressure to keep the belt tight. At Bob & Dave’s Garage, we recommend that the tensioner be replaced at the same time as the serpentine belt.

    All in all, the serpentine belt’s a critical part for the function of your vehicle.
    And it’s not that expensive to replace at Bob & Dave’s Garage – so bring in your vehicle if it hasn’t been checked in a while.

  • The Importance Of Wyoming Drivers Following Service Intervals

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    Today in our Bob & Dave’s Garage blog, we’re going to talk about following recommended service intervals. Your vehicle isn’t the only aspect of your life in Wyoming with recommended intervals: Let’s start with twice yearly dental check-ups and regular physical exams. How about laundry, watering the lawn and paying the bills?

    Now, what would happen if you didn’t follow these intervals? Well, you’d get more cavities. You’d may not discover health conditions that could be more effectively treated with early detection. And you’d have to wear dirty clothes, be embarrassed by your brown lawn and have your utilities shut off.

    The Importance Of Wyoming Drivers Following Service IntervalsClearly, there are some things in life that we have to take care of regularly. If we don’t, there are negative consequences. Our quality of life in Wyoming takes a hit and it inevitably costs more money.

    So why is it so hard to remember to follow regular preventive maintenance on our vehicles? Probably a couple of reasons. One is that automotive maintenance items just don’t seem that urgent. All our Wyoming neighbors can see our dead lawn, but no one knows how dirty our transmission fluid is. It’s easy to put off. The other reason is that we’re just not as familiar with automotive maintenance, so it’s a bit intimidating.

    From a practical standpoint, Wyoming people don’t need to memorize their vehicle owner’s manuals. You can let your Bob & Dave’s Garage advisor remind you of the guidelines established by auto makers: he has checklists of what the manufacturer recommends and can find potential problems when he inspects your vehicle. You really can rely on Bob & Dave’s Garage professionals to help you make good automotive decisions.

    For Wyoming drivers who want to be more proactive with their vehicle care, here are some simple ways for Wyoming motorists to remember what has a maintenance interval.

    First: Fluids. If it’s liquid, it’s got a replacement schedule. Oil, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, differential fluid, etc.

    Then think tires. They need air, rotation, balancing, and alignment. And while you’re thinking tires, don’t forget brakes and shock absorbers.

    And what makes your vehicle go? Air and fuel. Air filter replacement, fuel filters and fuel system cleaning. Of course there are more items, but if Wyoming car owners remember to take their car or truck in to Bob & Dave’s Garage for these things, their service advisor will help them with the rest.

    And if you don’t follow recommended service intervals? You get lousy fuel efficiency, your vehicle doesn’t run as well, your safety is compromised and you’ll spend more money in the long run. So it’s the same as everything else: The quality of your motoring life takes a hit and it ends up costing you more.

    Reason enough for me to follow recommended service intervals.

  • I Can See Clearly Now: Wiper Blade Replacement In Wyoming

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    About 90% of our driving decisions in Wyoming are based solely on what we see. So having a good pair of windshield wipers is extremely important.

    Most Wyoming car owners have experienced the frustration and fear of not being able to see clearly during a storm, or when our vehicle windshield is just dirty. In fact, it’s estimated that 46,000,000 auto owners across the nation are driving with wipers that can’t adequately clear their windshield in a storm.

    It seems like your wiper blades are always at their worst when you need them the most. If that sounds like you, you’ve got plenty of company in the Wyoming area. 78% of drivers only change their wiper blades after the blades function so poorly that they become a safety hazard.

    Us Wyoming drivers need to change our thinking. Instead of blades being something to replace when they fail, we need to consider wiper blades as an important vehicle safety component. Then we’ll stay ahead of the storm.

    You really ought to replace your wiper blades twice a year; in the spring and the fall. If you live in the colder parts of Michigan, you may even want to get special winter blades in the fall.

    Winter blades are made to resist freezing. Speaking of winter and freezing Wyoming conditions, if your vehicle has been sitting for a long time and the windshield becomes frozen, don’t use your wipers to clear off snow and ice. That can shred your blades and may even damage the wiper motor.

    Your wiper blades live outside in the freezing cold and blistering Wyoming sun. Over time, they become hard and brittle, and then tear. They also lose their flexibility and just don’t clear the vehicle windshield effectively. Worn wiper blades aren’t just a safety hazard; they can also scratch your windshield. That may require replacing the entire vehicle windshield – that’s an expensive consequence for neglecting such a small part.

    AutoNetTV and Bob & Dave’s Garage recommend you replace worn blades right away. Your Wyoming service center can provide you with a quality replacement blade. At Bob & Dave’s Garage, they cost about the same as they would at the store – but installation is included.

    Of course you also need washer fluid to help your blades do their work. Even though Bob & Dave’s Garage will top off the washer fluid with a full service oil change, it is a good idea to have some extra fluid at home. Bring it with you if you’re heading out on a road trip.

    Always use windshield washer fluid. Plain water, even that fancy French bottled water, just doesn’t cut it. It can freeze in the fluid reservoir or on the windshield itself, making things worse. Besides, water won’t clean your windows as well.

    So follow these tips to keep your windshield clear and your eye on the road.

    Find us at:

    Bob & Dave’s Garage
    2863 Byron Center Ave
    Wyoming, Michigan 49519
    616-532-7209

  • Bob & Dave’s Garage And The Maintenance Mindset

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    When it comes to their vehicles, some Wyoming auto owners don’t have a maintenance mindset. They know they need to take care of their cars, but it just seems really hard to get them to remember to do it. Wyoming drivers generally accept that many things in life require regular maintenance, but just may have not applied it to their vehicles.

    For example: the lawn. You water it and mow it every week. And weed the flower beds and rake the leaves. Bob & Dave's Garage And The Maintenance MindsetThere are other things that Wyoming residents are diligent about. Going to the dentist twice a year. Clothes to the dry cleaner. Flu shots. Taking the kids to your Wyoming doctor for a checkup before school starts.

    So Wyoming motorists really are maintenance minded. They just have to learn to apply that mindset to cars. I mean, if you never brush your teeth or go to the dentist, you’ll become painfully aware of your neglect when you get a big cavity. Once the damage is done, most of us learn our lesson and shape up.

    Unfortunately, Wyoming drivers too often learn a hard automotive lesson when they bring their vehicle to Bob & Dave’s Garage on a tow truck. So many times a little routine maintenance would have prevented a breakdown.

    So how can Wyoming auto owners get into the habit of taking care of their vehicle? It’s so easy to forget. If you skip cutting the grass, you see it every time you pull in the driveway.

    Here’s something that will help: The key to good vehicle maintenance starts with the oil change. Think about it – when you go in for a full-service oil change, your Bob & Dave’s Garage tech will check all your fluids. If one of them is low, he can look for the reason why. If your serpentine belt is cracked, he’ll see it and let you know. Corroded battery cable – they’ve got you covered. And at Bob & Dave’s Garage, we check to see if your vehicle manufacturer has recommended any services at your current mileage.

    The oil change becomes kind of a focal point, a way to check in to see what needs to be done.
    The fact is that vehicle inspection surveys consistently reveal that over 80% of vehicles have one or more unperformed repair or maintenance service. Vehicles are generally very reliable and can take a lot of abuse and neglect. But, you’ve got to remember that vehicles are complicated machines. There are parts and fluids that are critical to their operation. Without them, the vehicle won’t run at all.

    So when you come in to Bob & Dave’s Garage for an oil change, you get an automotive analysis from your committed to excellence, fairness and customer service service advisor and a reminder for recommended services so you can avoid a total failure. And remember that your Bob & Dave’s Garage technician can help you work out a maintenance and repair plan, prioritizing and scheduling the work to make sure you and your family are safe, and helping you avoid expensive breakdowns.